Sustainability and retail: a big Italian player point of view
Two days ago a couple of ECOFFEE‘s team members attended an interesting meeting regarding the Retail landscape in Italy, with a special focus on the sunglasses and eyeglasses sector. When the “Any question?” moment arrived, we asked to the speaker “What about sustainability in the Retail business?”. The answer was a HUGE “?”, followed by a: “Maybe in 2015”.
This answer made us smile, because it was the usual answer of those professionals in the Retail field who pretend that a trend does not exist until the trend has changed into an issue to be solved.
No more than two weeks ago, Andrea Illy, Chairman and CEO of illycaffè S.p.A, expressed his point of view about sustainability in a very interesting post published by Fastcompany. Here’s a couple of key sentences. “I’m taking about a broader notion of sustainability that includes social and economic equity right alongside environmental responsibility, serving a triple bottom line. (….) The key is acting early–acting now–before the confidence of consumers, investors and other stakeholders is irreparably damaged. The best rescue of sustainability’s meaning and power is one that is never made….Consequently, a genuinely holistic approach to sustainability is required: one that creates value throughout the entire supply chain. And in order to do that we must focus on raising quality. (…) By perpetually seeking higher quality, a cycle goes into motion, creating sustainable value for every player. The result is long-term viability in lockstep with ever-increasing quality in the cup.(…) Broader adoption and smart marketing of a powerful certification symbol (….) will create widespread understanding of what sustainable agriculture means, and place the power to demand genuinely responsible production squarely where it belongs: in the consumer’s hands.” We obviously share Andrea Illy’s point of view, and we wish that knowing his opinion about sustainability, all the skeptical retail professional will make up their minds.